Suck It Up Buttercup

48 days and counting

As part of my training for the Goofy Race in January, today was my long run. While it wasn’t the longest run I’ve ever completed (44.2 km1), it was my longest run this month (16.1 km2). To put this into context, the longest distance that I had completed this month prior to today’s run was 12.14 km, or about 3/4 today’s distance. Normally I don’t like to increase my distance by that much. Today however I made some exceptions to my rules, because rules are meant to be broken3.

Part of the reason that I increased the distance so much is that I have this nagging feeling that I’m behind in my training. I’m going to hope that it’s just nerves talking. Regardless, there’s a voice in the back of my head saying the race is in 48 days – pick it up buttercup. There’s also a voice whispering to me that this race is out of my league and there is no way in hell I’m going to be able to complete it. My response, of course, is to punch that particular voice in the face4.

The other reason, the main reason, and the one that seems less crazy, is that today just felt like a good day to run. Okay, maybe it didn’t start out that way – I did have to convince myself to run and my legs felt like lead for the first 3 km or so – but eventually I found my groove. My breathing wasn’t laboured, my body felt strong, and my legs weren’t exactly tired or stressed. I just ran. And I continued to run, stopping only for a sip of water here and there, and a necessary bathroom break around 6 km. In fact, the only reason I decided to stop was not because I was out of energy or in any sort of pain. I stopped because I wanted to prevent injury by overexerting myself; running too long compared to my most recent long run.

Stopping wasn’t easy. Everything felt so good today that I’m sure I could have carried on and finished a half marathon. What’s another 5 km? was on repeat in my head as I closed in on the 10 mile marker. I knew I could have kept going. But in this case, I knew that stopping was the correct decision.

I may disagree with that decision tomorrow if I wake up and don’t feel those extra miles. If that’s the case, I’ll likely be thinking that I could have finished another half marathon for the year, and will probably be down on myself for it. I’ll just have to remind myself that it was the correct decision and that I should be thanking myself for training smart, preventing an injury that could potentially jeopardize the Goofy Race in January.

Or I’m going to wake up feeling like an old man and cursing myself out for running those extra miles.

I love running. It’s always a surprise.

1 Which happened by mistake during my last marathon, thank you very much having to backtrack 1 kilometre to the closest port-a-potty.

2 10 miles.

3 That’s a rule, you should write it down.

4 Metaphorically speaking, as we do share the same face.

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